What do you want from me?

I need to vent.

I love my job and I love my boss. His boss is also very nice but there’s something about the way he talks to me (he does it to everyone) that just leaves me on the verge of tears after every single interaction.

Not long after I first started in my position, he sent me this email with some areas of improvement that he’d like to see. He actually was incorrect about his understand of the things he pointed out and so I politely clarified why those things were done but also said that I will keep his suggestions in mind because ultimately I’d like to be good at what I do. Surprisingly enough he actually replied and sort of reneged on what he said which made me feel a little better but still unsettled at all that he was so closely monitoring my stuff. He’s not even my direct boss so it just caught me off guard.

Later in the week I went to my direct boss and asked for clarification on what I was told because the request that the other boss made didn’t make sense to me and wasn’t what I was trained to do. My boss said that I was right and to stick with what I was doing, etc. Relief.

Well today I worked a little past 5pm. My department often works overtime. We don’t have to request the overtime and we all have laptops to be able to work from home as needed. Everything we do is tracked so there’s no mistaking what we’re doing when we are on the clock. It was about 5:20pm (we usually leave at 5pm). I wasn’t in the office on Monday and Tuesday so naturally I had a lot to catch up on. I was only finishing up one last thing and was just about to wrap up and go when he came walking over on his way out and says, “Mandi, it’s time to go home.” I smiled brightly as usual and confirmed that I was just wrapping up and was about to go anyway. He wasn’t mean really with how he said it, but I couldn’t help but think and feel, “What the fuck do you want from me? If you think I’m not caught up, you will call me out on it. Now if I’m here a few minutes after my normal leaving time, you’re telling me to go home?”

Once again, I just wanted to start bawling. He makes me feel like this little kid who just got scolded by Dad. At least that’s how it always felt when I got scolded by my dad. It tears me apart. It makes me feel small and like whatever I’m doing just isn’t good enough. I feel like I can’t win.

Again, he isn’t necessarily mean with how he says things, but there’s this underlying condescending tone that cuts me apart in seconds. I texted the lead (who isn’t really my manager but the lead in our department), and I told her what happened because she often feels this same way with him. She couldn’t believe he said that and thought maybe he meant it more as a “Hey, go home. You deserve it. You work hard and tomorrow is a holiday.” and maybe it just came out wrong. I don’t know!

I’m debating just asking him what he meant by it but I am worried that I’ll just come across as this overly sensitive nuisance who takes everything to heart. Really, I just want to be a good employee and it’s very important to me that my bosses are happy with what I do. If I feel like they are unhappy with me, it really gets to me.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m struggling because this really triggers me; bad.

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